2019 Quarterback Primer
The quarterback position is as deep as ever for Fantasy Football. Waiting on quarterback has been a strategy for several years, but it’s even more important this season. Even if you are last in your league selecting a quarterback, a good one can still be found. Build the depth at the other positions and get a quarterback late.
Patrick Mahomes is coming off a MVP season with 50 passing touchdowns and two rushing touchdowns and has an ADP of 47 in the FFWC. Mahomes will see regression, but can still be the best best Fantasy QB. The cost to acquire him is high. Deshaun Watson has a shot to finish as the top QB. Watson played through a collapsed lung and shoulder injury and it limited his pass and rushing attempts. He was sacked 62 times, but showed a high ceiling and with a healthy DeAndre Hopkins, Will Fuller and Keke Coutee, it’s a dangerous offense.
Andrew Luck passed for 4,539 yards and 39 touchdowns in his first season under Frank Reich. The Colts added rookie receiver Paris Campbell, signed Devin Funchess and Jack Doyle is healthy after missing most of last season. Aaron Rodgers injured his MCL in Week 1 last season and played through it and had a down season for him with 25 touchdowns. Rodgers had a touchdown rate of 4.2 percent, below his career average of 6.2 percent.
Most people are excited to see Baker Mayfield and he’s going as the QB5 in the FFWC. Mayfield was much better when Freddie Kitchens took over and finished as the QB7 in the final eight starts. The addition of Odell Beckham helps Mayfield. Matt Ryan quietly had a great season last year. He had 608 pass attempts, passed for 4,924 yards, 35 touchdowns and seven interceptions. The offensive line was improved and the Falcons will want to run the ball more than last season, but Ryan has all of his weapons back.
Carson Wentz was on a great pace in 2017 before tearing his ACL in Week 14. He played 11 games last season before a back injury end his season. There’s a lot of weapons in this offense and Wentz has shown a high ceiling. Kyler Murray is going very high in drafts. He’s no sleeper. The Cardinals are expected to play at a high pace and Murray can run. Murray is currently the QB8 off the board in the FFWC.
If only the Seahawks would rely on Russell Wilson more. They are one of the most run-heavy teams in the league. Wilson only had 427 pass attempts last season, yet still had 35 touchdowns. He had a touchdown rate of 8.2 percent and his career average is six percent. Wilson rushed for 376 yards, the second lowest of his career, and had no rushing touchdowns. Cam Newton has a high floor when he’s healthy. He has at least four rushing touchdowns in every year. Newton has great playmakers after the catch with Christian McCaffrey, D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel.
Jameis Winston has huge upside especially with coach Bruce Arians taking over. The Buccaneers defense is awful and the running game has question marks, putting Winston in position to throw the ball a lot. The trio of Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and O.J. Howard are among the best passing targets. In the games Winston started last season, he finished as a Top 10 QB in points per game. Drew Brees is falling in drafts and it makes sense. The Saints clearly want to run the ball and have a better defense. The days of 600 pass attempts appear to be gone. He had 536 attempts in 2017 and 489 last season. Brees had six games of one touchdown or fewer and eight games of 250 yards passing or fewer last season.
Jared Goff had a good season last year, but struggled down the stretch with one touchdown pass or fewer in four of the last five games. He was much better with Cooper Kupp on the field. Ben Roethlisberger had 675 pass attempts last season and passed for 34 touchdowns. He’s without Antonio Brown, but there’s still good weapons. Mitch Trubisky was one of the better Fantasy QBs last season before hurting his shoulder. Another year in the offense will help and he raises the floor with his running ability.
Speaking of running, Lamar Jackson will do that. Jackson is going to have a high floor due to his rushing prowess. Jackson didn’t start until Week 11 and he was used early in the season in some games as a runner, so the overall numbers don’t provide the proper context. As a starter, Jackson averaged 163.5 passing yards, 76.2 rushing yards and 1.3 touchdowns. From Week 11 on, Jackson had 119 rushing attempts for 556 yards with four touchdowns. If Jackson can improve as a passer, it will help him get into the QB1 tier.
Dak Prescott is a value again. Prescott has been a QB1 in each of his first three seasons and rushed for six touchdowns in each season. He was a different quarterback when the Cowboys acquired Amari Cooper. In seven games without Cooper last season, Prescott had a 62.1 percent completion rate, 6.88 yards per attempt and 202.4 yards passing per game. With Cooper, including the playoffs, Prescott had a 70.1 percent completion rate, 7.69 yards per attempt and 269.1 yards passing per game. The touchdown percentage increased from 3.9 percent to 4.2 percent and the interception rate decreased from 1.9 percent to 1.3 percent. Prescott was the QB4 in Fantasy with Cooper.
Kirk Cousins got off to a fast start, then slowed down in his first season with the Vikings. He threw 30 touchdowns, but the offense became more focused on the run. Cousins passed for 215 yards or fewer in four of his last five games. Philip Rivers is a steady QB, but he doesn’t run at all. He’s durable and passed for 32 touchdowns last season.
Similar to Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen can run. Allen led all quarterbacks in Fantasy scoring over the final six weeks and did it by being a poor passer. He completed 52.8 percent of his passes, but still was good in Fantasy because of his rushing. Allen averaged 7.7 rushing attempts per game in his 11 starts and averaged 7.1 yards per carry. He scored eight rushing touchdowns. Allen had 10 touchdowns and 12 interceptions and needs to improve in that area. A lot of times last season, no one was open and he was forced to run. The receivers improved with the addition of John Brown, Cole Beasley and Dawson Knox, plus Robert Foster came on as the season went on while Zay Jones improved. Pieces were added to the offensive line, too.
Jimmy Garoppolo was going high in drafts last season, often as a QB1 and then he tore his ACL in Week 3. Garoppolo is often going outside the Top 20 quarterbacks. He has the upside to finish as a QB1. There’s no need to draft him there and he’s a good backup in case he takes off. Tom Brady is name value at this point. He finished QB14 last season with Rob Gronkowski and there are big questions marks at wide receiver.
*All ADPs as of July 29